Neutrinos still move faster than light

I noticed this a few weeks ago.  In September they repeated the neutrino experiment that detected netutrinos moving faster than the speed of light.  The repeated experiment contained a change in methodology to rule out the most likely causes of error.  However, the experiment still provided the same results:

Neutrinos are apparently moving faster than the speed of light.

I think it is still most likely that there is some problem with the experiment, but it is pretty darn nifty to think that we have taken a big step forward in determining limits in our understanding of special relativity.  However, as far as I can tell this won’t mean that I’m getting a jetpack anytime soon – so the future continues to both astound and disappoint.

In addition to perusing all sorts of information on wikipedia, digging up my old physics texts from university, I found a cool blog from Prof. Matt Strassler that uses some fairly straight forward language to talk abut the experiment and many other ideas in particle physics.  Of Particular Significance  go to the Articles link and check out the Neutrinos faster than light? section.


Weekly Recap

“I had a major change go horribly awry this past weekend.”

“Gee, Todd, you can’t talk much about your job, but don’t all your changes go horribly awry?”

“Um, no – most go completely unnoticed, but the failure rate has been higher than I’d like.  What I’d like being a number approaching 0.  But my boss is asking for increased QA and better proceses on changes.  And his bosses have noticed as well. ”

“That doesn’t sound good.”

“And to make matters worse, the Blue Bombers got schlacked on Sunday.  That may be my fault too as I had the biggest Bombers fan in our office in fixing up the change during the kickoff.  ”

“Yep.  Definitely your fault.  I hear that Canada pulling out of Kyoto is your fault too. ”

“Not true.  At least comics were awesome last week.  Ooh, ooh, ooh.  And I had a Grey Cup party.  Two whole beer were drank.  We are animals!”

“You are an animal.  Hey, did you see Nickelback at half time.  Isn’t singing a song with this chorus in poor taste when at a championship event in Vancouver: ‘We’re going off tonight, To kick out every light, Take anything we want, Drink everything in sight, We’re going till the world stops turning, While we burn it to the ground tonight.’ ”

“I thought the same thing.  But we have to make allowances – we (the country) think making Pamela Anderson play the Virgin Mary in a Christmas special funny.  ”

“Hey, the new Liturgy premiered during Mass on Sunday.  How was that?”

“Cool.  Folks don’t sound like automatons repeating statements by rote.  Of course, it mostly just sounds like a chaotic mess.  It’ll come together. I’m fine with the changes.”

“Anything else?”

“Gaming was pretty nifty on Friday.  But the highlight of the week was the scotch tasting.  It was tres nummy.  My favorite was a Glenfarclas.  I think my friend attending with me preferred the Springbank.  We also tried a 21 year old, Old Putney which is the current Whiskey of the Year.  I didn’t care for that at all.  I also missed trying the last scotch – an Ardberg Correyveckan, but I had a bottle at home so I re-tasted that on Friday.  Next tasting in January!”

Anne McCaffrey

Dragonflight was the second book I never finished.  The first was The Fellowship of the Ring so it is in pretty good company for a fantasy novel.

I don’t think my top ten fantasy/sci-fi writers has any women in it.  Likely due to a bias on my part.  Of course that is unfair.  There are tons of great female writers out there.  Anne McCaffrey would certainly be on many lists of best writers that don’t suffer from my own personal biases – and rightly so.

Anne McCaffrey died on Monday the 21st of November.  She is survived by two sons and a daughter.

I eventually picked up Dragonflight a second time.  When I did I finished it.  By the end I was hooked.  I read Drangonquest.  And The White Dragon.  I really liked the White Dragon and reread it several times – it was the only one of the trilogy I owned; the rest I borrowed from the municipal or school libraries.  I also read the Harper Hall trilogy and The Ship who Sang.

I read an interview that indicates that McCaffrey didn’t consider the books to be fantasies, but sci-fi books.  Funny claim for books that feature priminent dragons on each cover, but I suppose it is true.  Certainly the novel approach to dragons was one of the great appeals of the book to me (I do love world building).

I probably haven’t read a McCaffrey book since the 80s and my teens.

I’ll fix that up this weekend.

Beardly Recap

I’ve never really just let it grow before.  And grow and grow and grow.

Lots of Grey

Who's a handsome devil?

It is pretty, um, something or other.

Someday soon it is going to require a trim.  Sigh.

I’ll never look like this guy – famed comic book writer Jason Aaron:

Or even this guy – famed fantasy book writer, Patrick Rothfuss:

At this rate I’ll never be a famed writer.  Sigh.

Or a famous scientist like Ludwig Boltzmann:

This makes me mad

Read this…

The most dangerous game I ever played on the school yard was one we made up called, “Trip Me.”  You ran at another kid as quick as you could.  As you passed by as close as possible without touching, the other kid stuck out their leg and tried to trip you.  You jumped, or stumbled or fell.  At best, you ended the game with your shins all banged up.  At worst you took a hard tumble onto the ground and died.  We were fortunate that there were no deaths, but Robin was seriously injured once.

I was never an athlete.  Although I was pretty good at Trip Me.  I dropped far more footballs than I ever caught.  I usually didn’t even manage to get underneath the darn things.  I did like Dodge Ball.  Another game designed with the hope of injuring a child.  Not getting hit by balls was always a goal of mine.  I did well at dodge ball.

But I can’t sympathize with this position at all.

I can’t even raise a good counter argument.  It just seems self-evident to me that they are being overprotective.

There was this one time when I drank too much…

I was once young and more foolish.

One weekend, I and a friend went out to join his family for a hunting trip in the northern Alberta wilderness.  It wasn’t too remote.  There was a forestry road that went out to the site, but it was pretty rough over the last bit.  I think we took quads for the final bit.

Now I didn’t actually do any hunting.  I was just hanging around and having a good time.  That evening, after dinner, we sat around and talked and played crib.  We also drank beer.  To conceal the names of the innocent let’s call the folks: Blaire, Broy, Biane, Bat and Bodd.

Broy and I made up one team playing crib.  Blaire and Bat were on the other team.  My team talked a lot of smack.  Oh, we mocked our opponents mercilessly as we played.  As we played and as we won.  After our first win came our first skunk.  We were playing awesome.

Have I mentioned before that I’m not the best cribbage player?  I’m decent at cards, but I often either take risks – like playing on a pair when I know the triple is possible and it might even allow a 31 for 8 points pegging.  I also just get a bit careless sometimes.  When I am focused I am pretty good, but I play for fun not for winning so I can give up that focus pretty easily.

I’ve also never been a heavy drinker.  I’m no lightweight like others I know, but I’ve never been a ‘drink a case on my own’ sort of fellow either.  I have no idea how many beer I had consumed, but it was certainly enough that I wasn’t laser focused on the game.  I was counting on my partner to pull my weight.  Of course, Broy was three sheets to the wind himself.

This only elevated our mocking to new heights.  And oh what heights we hit.  Until…

We realized that our opponents were cheating.  Table talk – check.  Card showing – check.  Card passing – check.  Deck stacking – check.  It was when our desperate foes got to this final point that it finally penetrated our alcoholic stupor that they were cheating.  Flagrantly cheating!

And yet they were still losing!

And our mocking reached stratospheric heights and we added additional vituperative condemnation of our opponents.

That pretty much ended the game.  Besides which I had started to reach the point where the room began to move independently of my own motions. Up until then, it was embarrassing for others.  The next part is where I made a fool of myself.

I quickly tuned in for the night, but when my head hit the pillow the room began to rotate around me.  First it would go one way and then it would go the other.  I recognized the symptoms and I knew what was coming next.  I wandered back to the main room.

Troy’s Mom, Biane asked, “Are you OK?”

“Thure,” I answered.  “Do you have anything to eat?”

“I think I’ve got a granola bar or two.  Did you not get enough from supper?”

Supper had been delicious.  I have no idea what it was, but I am pretty sure I had eaten more than my share.

“No.  I had plenty.  But I’m about to go out and throw it all up,” I said. “When I get back, I’m sure I’ll be hungry again.”

I was in a little bit of a hurry and the room was still moving unnervingly on its own so I ended the conversation abruptly and moved quickly outside.  Upon my return I accepted the proffered granola bar and ate in quickly as I returned to bed.

It was delicious.  With its comforting weight in my belly, I fell quickly to sleep.  When I awoke, after I drank copious amounts of orange juice and was able to focus on my surroundings, I found out that my actions were seen as a little remarkable.  Apparently, most people don’t want to eat right after losing their supper.

But, darn it, I was hungry!